Monsanto Seeds of Life

In: Business and Management

Submitted By vincemichaelcruz
Words 275
Pages 2
While the original Monsanto made a name for itself through the manufacturing of chemicals, new Monsanto took quite a different turn. It switched its emphasis from chemicals to food. Today’s Monsanto owes its $8.6 Billion in sales to biotechnology; specifically to its sales of genetically modified (GM) plant seeds. These seeds have revolutionized the agriculture industry.
Throughout history, weeds, insects, and drought have been the bane of the farmer’s existence. In the past century, herbicides and pesticides were invented to ward off pests. Yet applying these chemicals to an entire crop was both costly and time-consuming. Then Monsanto scientists, through their work in biotechnology, were able to implant seeds with genes that make the plants themselves kill bugs. They also created seeds containing the herbicide Roundup Ready, an herbicide that kills weeds but spares the crops.
The broad introduction of these GM seeds in the 1990s unleashed a stream of criticism. Monsanto was nickname “Mutanto,” and GM produce was called “Frankenfood.” Critics believed that influencing the gene pools of plants we eat could result negative health consequences, a fear that remains to this day. Others worried about the health effects on beneficial insects and plants. Could pollinating GM plants have an effect on nearby insects and non-GM plants? CEO Hugh Grant decided to curtail the tide of criticism by focusing on biotechnology on products that would not be directly place on dinner plate, but instead on seeds that produce goods like animal feed and corn syrup. In this way, Grant was able to reduce some of the opposition. Today, the company invests largely in four crops: corn, cotton, soybeans, and…...

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